Whether you’re graduating from college or high school or looking for a job partway through your education, you have to make sure that your cover letter is great. U.S.News & World Report offers a list of 10 phrases that don’t belong in your cover letter.
“I meet the requirements for the position”
So do most of the other candidates. That sentence won’t make your cover letter stand heads and shoulders above the others. Instead, explain why you’re an excellent candidate.
“I’m hard-working and a great communicator.”
These are the kinds of clichés that potential employers tend to ignore, particularly because they’re not really saying anything.
“I’m a visionary leader.”
Remember when your composition teacher said “show don’t tell?” That applies here as well. Don’t tell a potential employer you’re a visionary leader, show him or her through the accomplishments you’ve listed on your resume.
“You won’t find a candidate better qualified that me.”
Really? Do you want to sound that cocky? Probably not. Plus, if you truly stand out and are the very best qualified, the hiring manager should be able to figure that out on his/her own.
“I’ll call you in a week to schedule an interview.”
Yes, you want to show that you’re persistent, but this is just plain annoying.
“I’m willing to work for below the salary you’re offering.”
You may think this will get you an interview, particularly if your qualifications aren’t as strong. It won’t.
“I’ve attached my college transcripts, a list of references, a 15-page writing sample, and my last performance review.”
Unless you were specifically asked to provide these materials, don’t include them. You don’t want to overwhelm a potential employer.
“Please contact me if you’d like to see my resume.”
If you’re looking for a job, you must include your resume. Enough said.
“I really need a job. I’m desperate.”
While this may make a hiring manager feel sorry for you, it won’t make them hire you.
Don Georgevich of jobinterviewtools.com explains more about what you shouldn’t put in a cover letter and how to make it better.